What are the different types of strollers?
Prams and strollers are one of the most essential purchases parents must make when starting a family. A Stroller or pram can help provide the freedom to move with your little one. With over 70 years of experience, we have created some important information to help you navigate the world of prams and strollers. There are four main categories of strollers Travel System, Full Sized, Lightweight/Compact and Tandem, there are also other categories for a more specific purpose like Side by Side & Jogging strollers. Within each of these categories, there will be options for a travel system which is the compatibility with a baby capsule. Read the below to start to learn more. Most families purchase two-three strollers in their lifetime as children grow your family needs can change.
Travel system: Pram and strollers designed to be compatible with baby capsules allowing seamless transitions from the pram to the car and back again so as not to wake the baby. Great for first time parents and those with several children to make life easy. Our strollers are compatible with a number of baby capsule brands - Steelcraft, Britax, Maxi Cosi and Nuna. Check each product for suitability and adaptors required.
Full sized: Comfort, larger wheels and innovative suspension, maximum comfort and features, including reversible seat, large canopies, large baskets, adjustable handle bars, multiple configurations, lay flat accessories for newborns. Full sized strollers are designed for maximum comfort focusing on newborn all the way up to 4 years of age and in some cases the growing family from 1 to 2 children.
Lightweight: Compact, lighter and convenient. Ideal for travel, lightweight strollers are generally smaller in size lighter in weight than Full Sized strollers making them a more convenient solution. The lightweight category can be split into two sections. Convenient and Compact. Each stroller will have their own unique set of features, making the product suitable for everyday use, most can be taken on public transport or great for those short trips to the museum or holidays.
Tandem: They have one seat in front of the other, suitable for twins or two babies of different ages. Can be used as a single stroller until its time for number two, then simply purchase a second seat attachment to convert into a tandem stroller.
Side by side: Designed for two, with identical seats making them suitable for twins or close in age allowing two children to be world facing at the same time.
Jogging: - There are two types of Jogging strollers ideal for casual and serious runners. These strollers are usually three-wheeled, heavier with superior suspension to keep baby comfortable. We recommend Jogging and Off-Road to children over the age of 8 months when their neck muscles are strong enough support the weight of their heads. Prior to use consult your paediatrician regarding the suitability of jogging stroller use with your child.
These choices can be overwhelming at first, most families will end up purchasing at least two strollers over time, as children grow family needs can change.
- Single child families stroller options: Single mode full size, lightweight, travel system.
- Two children families stroller options: Single mode full size, tandem mode full size, lightweight, travel system, side by side.
What are the important features to consider for newborns?
Important features for newborns:
- Travel system: First thing to decide is if you will want a travel system stroller that can be used with a baby capsule or if you will purchase a separate seat car seat for the car, as this may have an impact on what type of stroller you will purchase. A travel system is a convenient solution to transition from the car to the stroller without waking the baby. This can be beneficial for first time parents for convenience but can also help second and third-time parents when they have several children to navigate getting in and out of the car.
- Reversible seat: Are seats that can be used on either Parent Facing or World Facing modes. (Travel System) baby capsules and bassinets are used on Parent Facing Mode this allows you to enjoy those special eye to eye moments with your baby and helps to strengthen the bond during the early months. The added bonus is that you are able to see your baby and their comfort level, therefore reducing stress for parents. Once the baby is older to transition from their baby capsule or bassinet to the stroller seat you can choose if you prefer to still have them on Parent facing mode or World facing mode allowing them to discover the world at their own pace.
- Lay flat option: This can be done with the use of a separate Bassinet accessory option where there is a complete lay-flat surface or with a stroller seat that has a near flat recline and adjustable leg rest. Lay-flat is the optimal position for newborns as it ensures airways remain clear, they can stretch and move freely, allowing for their spine, lungs and neck muscles development during the first 6 months.
- Suspension & wheels: If you will be travelling on rough terrain a stroller with larger wheels and better suspension will provide the most comfortable ride for newborns.
- Seat height: A higher position will position your baby closer to you while also allowing less strain on your lower back after childbirth when removing and placing your baby in the stroller.
- Ventilation: This is needed during our hot Australian summer months to regulate baby's temperature, especially for newborns. We have developed technology-based fabric to assist with this, our Thermo 5 fabric helps regulate babies temperature in cool and warm weather. Also extra ventilation panels and ventilation windows allowing for airflow.
- Protection: Essential for newborns. Steelcraft offers protection in various forms from our XL UPF 50+ water-resistant canopies, harness pads, bassinet boot cover, Oeko tex fabrics, Thermo 5 fabric, all wheel/rear dual suspension, bassinet body/ belly band, stroller arm bar, 5 point harness and optional accessories like our UPF50+ shade cover, rain cover, newborn & toddler comfort pack for extra comfort, head and neck support.
What are the standards for Prams and Strollers in Australia?
Here at Steelcraft we test and meet the Australian standards which continue to evolve to ensure the safety of babies and young children. Our standard does differ from the European standard and the US standards.
Please be sure that you purchase a stroller that meets the Australian standards. As part of the Britax group safety is key we adhere to our own Britax standards that exceed the Australian standards.
How do I choose the right stroller for my family?
Choosing the right stroller for you and your baby can be a daunting task, it will depend on your personal preference, your lifestyle including where you live, shop, walk, mode of transport (car or public), how many children you have or plan to have, and your budget. How many strollers would I need? Can one stroller meet all my needs? For some families, one stroller might not cover all their needs, no matter how clever the model no model is perfect. You could consider the option of splitting your stroller budget rather than investing in just one. You will most likely need full size stroller for your everyday needs when your child is young and later a compact lightweight stroller for outings and where a full size stroller is not needed or you need the convenience of a quick compact fold. Here are the key questions to consider before purchasing a stroller or Pram.
1. Is the stroller suitable for newborns?
First, check the stroller age/weight suitability.
Does the stroller have a near flat recline suitable for newborns or does it come bassinet accessory? Is it travels system compatible? Does it have a reversible seat with parent facing & world facing positions? All important features for newborns.
2. Are you planning to have more than one child?
If you plan to have more than one child a full size stroller that can convert into a tandem stroller by purchasing a second seat could be a good option for you. These strollers tend to be heavier than a single seat option but provide the flexibility for a growing family.
3. How long and where do you plan to use the stroller.
- Check and compare strollers that are best suit your lifestyle. Most strollers can be used until 4 years of age, check stroller age suitability as well as kg capacity as this may vary on models also look for seat height.
- Consider the terrain you will be strolling around at Parks, beach, gravel paths, footpaths.
4. Ease of use & manoeuvrability
- Stroller weight, is a large consideration of how to get it in and out of the car, can you take it on public transport? it is easy to fold & unfold? How compact does it fold? Can the seat be removed to reduce the weight you are lifting?
- Basket capacity, check for easy access as well as kg capacity, remember you will be taking all your baby essentials, your belonging and potentially your shopping here.
- Lockable front swivel wheels, can be locked when travelling on uneven surfaces for better manoeuvrer.
- Suspension, for a smooth & comfortable ride for your little one. Options are all-wheel suspension or front only or rear only.
- Tyres, look for ones that are suitable for all-terrain as they provide maximum traction and are maintenance free.
- Does it steer smoothly? Is it easy to maneuverer? How does it handle turns?
- Where will you store the stroller? In the garage or house? Will it fit in your car boot with room for shopping? Ensure to check open and folded dimensions before you buy.
Once you have done your research and narrowed down your choices, test drive it in person so you can get a feel of the ease of use.
Do I need to use a bassinet?
The answer will depend on personal preference.
A bassinet provides complete lay-flat position which gives perfect support for your baby's back, It is the best position for newborn's delicate spine and head since they lack neck control. However, nowadays there are many strollers with generous near flat backrest recline & adjustable leg rest that are suitable for newborns.
How to use the 5 Point Buckle?
Your baby will be nice and snuggled in a five-point harness, it's secure at the shoulders, waist and in between the legs. Always buckle your baby's 5 point harness when going for a stroll.
Britax & Steelcraft use 2 types of 5 Point Harnesses:
- No-rethread 5 point harness: Hassle-free, allows for easy harness height adjustment. No need to remove & re-attach the straps, simply move up or down to the desired height for the perfect snug fit.
- Standard 5 point harness: To adjust the harness height, the straps need to be removed from the current harness slot through the back of the seat onto the desired height slot.
What is the difference between Stadium Seating & In-line Seating tandem strollers?
When it comes to tandem strollers there are two options to choose from In-Line or Stadium seating.
- In-Line: The weight of both children is placed on the strongest part of the stroller, centre and rear which allows for better manoeuvrability on front wheels. Easy to turn and get over a curb. Both seats are able to have a full recline making them suitable for newborns. Steelcraft Strider Signature V5 & Britax Flexx strollers for example.
- Stadium: Can be a bit longer, tends to be more front-heavy therefore making it a little harder to steer and go up curbs. Seats might only be able to have a full recline in certain positions.